What is Virtual Massage? - woman sitting on floor doing a self massage

What is Virtual Massage?

Amelia Wilcox
August 27, 2021
October 9, 2022

In-person massages are excellent for relieving stress, but have you ever tried a virtual massage? As more and more of our world and work move online, a new need has arisen for virtual guided massage to manage workplace stress. An unprecedented number of employees are now working remotely, and remote employees need stress management tools, too!

That’s where virtual wellness programs come in. With innovative companies now offering a wealth of online health care options, your remote team can receive the same support they did when working in a physical office but now offered in an online setting.    

Guided workplace massage programs work in much the same way any other office wellness program functions! Massage programs help ensure that employees take time out of their day for themselves, make time for self-care in the office, and care for their physical and mental health. Taking breaks at work is beneficial for workplace wellness, focus, productivity, creativity, and more. When management creates a work environment where breaks are encouraged, everyone benefits!

Your company can create a culture that makes employees feel supported and valued by bringing wellness breaks into the workplace. This leads to company loyalty, lower turnover rates, and a generally more committed, happy staff.

Virtual massage is a great way to give your team a break because of its many benefits. Consider introducing virtual guided massage to manage workplace stress.   Massage reduces stress levels and increases staff’s energy. You may have imagined a workplace massage would leave your team sleepy and ready for a nap, but the reality is that short guided massages will bring more energy to employees by reducing their stress and tension. Even 5, 10, or 15 minutes of massage can revitalize your staff and get them ready to dive into the rest of their workday.

Virtual massage can help employees treat their chronic desk pain and encourage self-love.

Virtual massage can increase your staff’s energy levels by improving overall circulation in the body as well. When blood is flowing, the body and brain are invigorated, and more energy is available. That’s why guided massages will re-energize your employees during the workday!  

How does virtual massage work?

The same certified massage practitioners' teams that provide onsite massage services lead virtual wellness sessions. Instead of visiting the workplace, your staff members connect with a practitioner over a live video streaming platform. The practitioners will then discuss each employee's specific needs and design their guided massage to address them.

If your staff is especially stressed, practitioners might focus on calming the nervous system with Swedish Massage techniques. If a team member happens to have pain in their neck from sitting at their desk, a practitioner might demonstrate a pressure point massage that will help release muscle tension. The list goes on, and practitioners are ready to personalize sessions to meet a wide variety of needs!

Staff can select between one-on-one or group sessions, depending on what they prefer. Group sessions can be a great team-building activity, especially for remote teams. Another customized option for virtual massage is the ability to choose between having video on or off. If viewers are comfortable turning their video on, practitioners can give specific feedback throughout the session. If employees prefer to keep their video off and practice with more privacy, that is also acceptable.   Regardless, the practitioner will demonstrate and explain simple, accessible actions that lead viewers into deep relaxation and release tension in tight muscles.  

woman receiving a chair massage—virtual massage techniques

Guided massage to manage workplace stress

Virtual massage can help manage workplace stress through a myriad of physical and mental benefits.

Stress signals that the brain sends to the body drop during a guided massage. This happens by slowing the heart rate, reducing blood pressure, and lowering cortisol levels (a stress hormone found in the body). When cortisol levels drop, serotonin (a hormone that contributes to feelings of happiness) rises. In fact, serotonin levels have been found to increase around 28 percent after a massage. These results can help to counteract stress and employee burnout.

Guided virtual massage also increases the release of dopamine. Increased dopamine levels can help improve employee productivity and focus. That’s because dopamine levels are a significant factor in the ability to focus. When our brain has enough dopamine, we're more able to hone in on tasks.

After a guided workplace massage break, not only will your team get back to work feeling happier, they’ll also be better able to focus on their work.  

Virtual massage to relieve pain

Guided massage is also great for releasing muscle pain, tension, and tightness—issues from prolonged sitting at an office desk all day. 62% of people report neck pain at the end of their workdays. Virtual massage can address stiffness in the neck and back.

Virtual wellness helps to relieve muscle pain in a few different ways. By applying pressure to points throughout the body with the techniques learned from your guided massage facilitator, blood gets moved through the body. By increasing blood flow and circulation in the body, muscles get warmer and more flexible. This also allows for injuries to heal faster when more oxygen-rich blood travels to that injured area.

Furthermore, guided massage can treat and prevent repetitive use injuries. Virtual massage is an excellent preventative treatment for workplace woes such as carpal tunnel and tendinitis. Virtual massage therapy can relieve carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) symptoms and help prevent this common workplace injury. Virtual massage works as a treatment for CTS by relaxing the muscles and fascia in the affected areas, such as hands, wrists, and shoulders. It also increases blood flow to the injury and reduces inflammation and pain.

All these fantastic benefits of massage demonstrate that it’s more than just a fun company perk! Guided workplace massage is a valuable part of a company wellness program, with powerful mental and physical health benefits. Implementing massage in the workplace can have significant impacts on your team. And those incredible benefits aren’t only for offices with onsite teams but are now available anytime, anywhere. With virtual wellness practitioners only a Wi-Fi connection away, companies can provide care to their staff anytime and anywhere.  

Understanding the physical and mental symptoms caused by stress

If you’re still not convinced that your workplace could benefit from a virtual wellness program, let us explain all the issues that come from employee stress!

65% of employees say that stress significantly impacts their lives.

The symptoms of stress affect both work and home life for every employee. Without proper stress management, stress can cause burnout, unhealthy habits, and harm mental and physical health in employees. With all these psychological and physical effects, it's vital to address stress before it negatively impacts your employees' work ethic and office morale.

The first step in helping your staff control their stress levels is educating them about stress in the workplace. Sharing information about the symptoms of stress and determining their causes is a great way to get your team started. Once your employees have more information about where their stress comes from, they can address it more effectively!

When employees are stressed, they’re likely to start experiencing that stress physically. From headaches to chest pain, insomnia and indigestion, stress can indeed be a pain!

Stress has mental impacts as well. When employees are stressed, they may begin to experience anxiety, irritability, and lack motivation. However, all these symptoms are avoidable if the underlying causes are addressed.

The most common causes of stress are large workload, poor work-life balance, and interpersonal conflict.

Physical symptoms of stress:

  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Chest pain
  • Insomnia
  • Tension

Mental and emotional symptoms of stress:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Lack of motivation
  • Depression

When your team knows how to recognize the symptoms of stress and identify when it's impacting their workplace health, they’re well on their way to a healthier lifestyle. Providing a virtual wellness program for employees struggling with the impacts of stress will create a more focused, creative, productive, and collaborative team. Those results are worth the investment!

If you’re ready to start managing your remote (or onsite) team’s stress, let us help you create a virtual wellness program for employees!

Our mobile wellness app connects employees with the mental and physical health support they need. Live and recorded sessions are available with talented practitioners at just the click of a button!

Users can schedule and enjoy virtual yoga, guided meditations, massage instruction, personal training, life coaching, nutrition coaching, and mental health counseling all through one simple, easy-to-use app. That’s the best part — it’s not just a fitness app, a yoga app, a meditation app, a nutrition app, or an anxiety app. It’s all of the above!


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Amelia Wilcox
Amelia Wilcox
Amelia Wilcox is the Founder and CEO of Nivati, a leader in corporate massage and employee mental health support since 2010. Her high-growth B2B company provides employee stress management tools that arm businesses with actionable data and positive employee experiences to improve wellbeing, boost morale, and increase engagement. Amelia has exponentially grown her company from a solo living-room service business to an international technology brand.